Ethnocentrism is a social word that refers to the tendency of societies to place their cultural practices at the core of issues. It is a practice in which a society compares its cultural practices with those of others and automatically finds other cultures inferior. In this regard, each society takes for granted the supremacy of its cultural practices. Consequently, such a society makes its culture the benchmark with which to evaluate other cultures as good or bad, all in resemblance to its own.
Apparently, ethnocentrism is a widespread human reaction that is common in nearly all communities, groups or individuals. With regard to the movie, City of God, history has taught humanity to glorify the accomplishments of one’s society, community, tribe, nation and religions while at the same time has taught to belittle their competitors. Ethnocentrism is a fact of life not only among children, but among adults as well. Aspects of race, violence, poverty and youth are prevalent in the movie.
Effects of Ethnocentrism
The very moment an individual becomes cognizant of ethnocentrism; there is always the lure to weigh up the whole issue in moral terms. Consequently, the concept is also labeled in such terms as bigoted chauvinistic. This is a clear indication that the same individual is yet to discover that ethnocentric biases are not creditable (Shepard, 2005).
Ethnocentrism also has the effect of maintaining social order as well as promoting social change. It promotes solidarity within a particular group. When a society believes that their ways are the best, this results in a “we” feeling, thereby strengthening the notion that loyalty to the society as well as the preservation of the basis for the superiority are vital principles. By and large, in as much as ethnocentrism promotes the preservation of the status quo, it however discourages change (Kinder & Kam, 2009).
Additionally, ethnocentrism has the effect of hampering the understanding of teamwork with other groups. This is basically because if one belittles the ways of another group, there is definitely very little motivation to constructively work together with inferior groups. As a matter of fact, ethnocentrism engenders disdain, aggression, as well as suspicion. In most cases, extreme ethnocentrism promotes divergence, records of past wars, ethnic and religious variances.
On multinational corporations, the globalization of the world economic system has led to managers on nearly every organizational level being exposed to many foreign cultures. In this way, the personal sentiments of an individual towards other cultures are likely to influence the manager towards certain cross-cultural decisions. This basically means that the level of ethnocentrism has the effect of determining how a company acts when operating in certain countries. Additionally, the customary ethnocentrism in a country has the effect of influencing the foreign formulation of strategies (Egger, 2008).
In most cases, ethnocentrism plays a key role in corporate management especially when it comes to issues regarding social interactions. In any management process that involves a multinational corporation, there is a need for very efficient social exchange relations between groups as well as individuals. For effective negotiation and corporation with people from other cultures, it is paramount to understand what makes the other counterparts tick.
It is also important for any multinational corporation to put into consideration the concept of consumer ethnocentrism. In this regard, a lot of emphasis should be laid on developing specific business lines of attack. Ethnocentrism also plays a key role in the evaluation of particular foreign market settings. This also contributes to the homogeny of solitary corporate policies on an international starting point.
As a matter of fact, ethnocentrism is vital especially when looking at upcoming nationalistic as well as xenophobic reactions in several nations and regions around the globe. This has been the case in parts of Eastern Europe where countries were centrally administered. It is therefore prudent to incorporate the concepts of ethnocentrism in multinational corporate development strategies (Egger, 2008).
How an individual’s ascribed social class position at birth affects life chances.
In some cases, social class is usually ascribed at birth. This mostly occurs with the caste system, nobility or with royalty. An individual’s position at birth is usually modified by one’s achievements through education, occupation, as well as income. On issues regarding good healthcare, belonging to a middle lower class limits an individual’s access to health care. On the other hand, in any class system, one’s access to healthcare is usually determined by the amount of money in your possession. In one-party systems like it is in China, an individual’s healthcare is usually at the mercy of the authorities.
On the aspect of longevity, being brought up in a lower class has the effect of hindering one’s longevity. People who belong to the upper classes definitely enjoy better healthcare and are therefore able to live for long. Aspects like having access to good security, status, wealth, power as well as prestige are greatly determined by the social class that an individual falls in. For instance, the amount of money one has provides access to food, or constrains the choices of food that the individual takes.
How life chances affect an individual’s life goals.
Many people have to bear with moments when they feel that they are not able to achieve their goals. For instance, someone in the lower class will definitely end up with a lower level of education, consequently becoming unskilled or semi-skilled. As a result, he/she is not able to achieve the desired goals. On the other hand, people in the middle-class have more education and are able to graduate from colleges and end up holding managerial positions. As a result, they are able to achieve their goals, albeit to a certain extent. As for the upper class people, they can achieve very high goals since they have access to high education, good salaries, and of course esteemed professional positions.
Ways in which life chances can be irrelevant.
Life chances can be irrelevant in situations where school attendance among children is uniform irrespective of the social class. This is generally an issue of equality as well as parity. When there is a clear pathway of economic as well as social development, life chances become irrelevant since at the end of the day, all the children will have equal opportunity since opportunities will be expanded with privileges being reduced (Kornblum & Smith, 2012).
Examples of how life chances operate in systems.
Life chances are very prevalent in the caste system, class system, as well as a one-party Communist system like it is in China. For instance, in a caste system, members of the lowest caste are educationally backward and therefore forced to be at the bottom of the professional hierarchy. Additionally, even after acquiring some level of education, life chances for these people are not essentially stable (Nanda & Warms, 2011).
In a class system, the affluent and the influential upper class owns and controls the means of production. Additionally, those in the middle class as well as the lower class depend on low paying occupations for their source of income and are usually faced with abject poverty (Ferrante-Wallace, 2011).
In the one-party system like the Communist China, peasants have to look for work in the urban areas, forming the lower class. On the other hand, state workers as well as urban workers form the working class in China. The members of the Communist Party, cadres, as well as state professionals form the capitalist class.